Maybe it’s because I’m in love with the Widmore/Ben/Locke storyline, but last night’s episode – while still amazing and stunning – is not my favourite of the season. Unfortunately, I said that at the outset of my blog and a lot of people LOVED it, so it was the focus for the first bit. I think this is one of those episodes I’ll like more and more with each viewing, especially after the coming episodes, because I think it will be essential to the Lostverse in weeks and months and years to come.
But just to plead my case here: I still loved it. Every episode this season has been a beautiful thing to me, and “LaFleur” was no different. I just didn’t love it with the crazed passion of the last two episodes. That’s all.
And hey… an episode centered on Sawyer? Who wouldn’t love that?
The problem for me (in writing this column) is, SO much happened in that episode it’s hard to nail down just one aspect of it and focus. So I’ll mention a few things I thought were intriguing that haven’t been discussed on my blog much yet (and my blog comments are at an all-time high for a single post already, so… there’s not much left). I’ll leave the Egyptian mythology (which we’ve also been talking about on my blog) and everything that goes with that to another column, and focus on a couple of things I liked.
First of all, I somehow missed Sawyer’s line about Richard’s eyeliner. I have NO IDEA how I missed it (other than my 4-year-old daughter walked into the room the first time I watched it, and then I was furiously typing the second time) but I am thrilled that was noted, and I thought it was hilarious when four of my readers pointed it out in consecutive comment posts. I’d even written a haiku about it on my blog a few weeks ago (yeah, I’m not ALL about analysis):
Richard Alpert is
Immortal, but I must ask:
Is that eyeliner?
(It’s not eyeliner, by the way; Darlton have confirmed that Nestor Carbonell has naturally dark eyelines.)
But on to the important stuff. I can’t say enough about Jeremy Davies’ incredible performance last night as a shattered shell of a man. Charlotte is gone, and one of my readers suggested that maybe she’s become an organic part of the island, shifting along with it. He walks in a daze until he sees the little girl, and even though he’d been muttering to himself over and over that he wasn’t going to do it (i.e. run up to little Charlotte and tell her not to come to the island), I wonder if seeing her changed all of that. Though he’s with the survivors in the compound, we never see him in the Three Years Later bits. Somewhere in those three years, he presumably disappeared.
Is he living in a jungle, a mad observer to everything? Another of my readers noted that he said everything you need to know about the Dharma Initiative is in those notes, and maybe he’ll spend the next three years writing them up. We know that he’ll be down in the Orchid station when they call in Pierre Chang to look (and as he walks past him he looks the other way as if he doesn’t want to be spotted). We know from the Comic-Con video that he’ll hook up with Chang at some point to record the warning message, if that video is to be considered canon. We know that at some point, even though he’s declared otherwise, he will see Charlotte as a young girl and warn her.
I think, seeing the way he was when the others came upon him in the jungle, I know now why he was crying at the beginning of “Confirmed Dead” when he first saw an image of the underwater plane. It was all Charlotte.
The main question I have about the episode is the timeline that we saw in “The Man Behind the Curtain.” In that episode, Horace is with Olivia, and there’s no mention of a son or of Amy. The production notes on Lost indicate that Ben was born in 1963-4, and that he came to the island when he was about 10. So he should already be in the barracks when Sawyer and the gang are there. There’s a possibility that a young bug-eyed boy with glasses named Ben doesn’t trigger anything for Sawyer (especially because they would probably assume he was with the hostiles, and not with the DI) but what about Roger Workman? Wouldn’t Sawyer see him walking around, knowing that he’ll later find his skeleton? Or maybe he’s got other things on his mind.
Charlotte was born in 1979, according to Ben, but she’s racing around the DI compound and looks like she’s about three, in 1974. Maybe her mother lied about her age and name on the birth certificate when they left the island, but wouldn’t someone have noticed the difference between a 2-year-old child and a 10-year-old one?
This brings up another question about the entire series that I asked on my blog this morning, however: when we see the flashbacks, are they the actual objective events that happened, or are they shown to us from the perspective of the person featuring in them? Since season 1, when the camera has focused on the eyeball of the person before showing their flashback, I’ve wondered if what we are seeing is coloured by the memory of the person whose flashback it is. In other words, did the events in “Man Behind the Curtain” actually happen, or is Ben, in essence, telling us this story? Are these the events that he remembers, or, more importantly in his case, the events that he’s convinced himself really happened after so many years of lying about them? Could the facts be off because he’s interpreting them differently than how they actually happened?
In which case, it’s quite possible Ben WAS born on the island. In 1874. Through an immaculate conception. Who knows…
All I know is it’s going to kill me to wait two weeks for the next episode. URGH.
Nikki Stafford is the author of the Finding Lost series of books, which offer episode-by-episode guides to each season. The guide to season 4 is now available at Amazon.com. She posts regularly on her television blog, Nik at Nite.